Larry Dallas stole my Sharpie

typed for your pleasure on 20 May 2009, at 3.14 am

Sdtrk: ‘The luckiest guy on the Lower East side’ by Magnetic fields

You might recall earlier that I was torn between attending this year’s Motor City Comic Con and not attending this year’s Motor City Comic Con, as it was a case of my finances running aground versus my desire to see Julie Newmar and a fifth of the cast of ‘Three’s company’. Luckily, my tax return cheque made the whole thing possible! Thanks, the Federal Government! I only thank you on average once a year, so you’d best appreciate that.

I sped out to the venue roughly three hours before it was due to close, as I kinda wanted to make a tactical strike on the place. It was just myself; Zip Gun had other obligations (attending the opera), SafeT hates comics (they killed his family), goshou was busy assembling a weight bench (with his mind), and Mari had to put a deposit on her new apartment (with her mind).
After arriving a wee bit after 3pm, I bought my ticket and entered the hall, which was already teeming with people. Not thirty seconds had passed when I was spotted by Mark Dudley, a friend of Mike’s, who had a table in Artist’s Alley, and was standing in line for some dodgy free popcorn. We chatted for a bit, doing the catch-up thing, then I took off when he finally got up to the register. Two minutes after that, I ran into another bloke that I’d not seen in almost a decade! We exchanged current Email addresses and spoke of the recent Gundam series, as he’s as big as a Gundam fanatic as I am. Then I made my leave again! Fifteen minutes, and I hadn’t even visited my first vendor booth!

So as I was on a tactical strike, due to being on a budget, my mission purchase-wise was to pick up the remaining five volumes of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster (a ‘taut psychological thriller’). My other objective, of course, was to get some autographs from famous individuals. As I neglected to get a programme, I kinda wandered aimlessly towards the back of the con, where I ran into an additional two friends of mine that I really hadn’t seen since highschool. How is that possible?? Sonja and Sue were juniors when I was a senior, cos the circle of miscreants that Monti and I ran with back then was mostly composed of people that were one grade below us. Don’t ask how, but the dynamic worked rather well. We chatted for a bit, doing the catch-up thing, etc. They were primarily there to hang out and shop, although Sue wanted to get a photo and autograph from Carrie Fisher, but that idea was summarily shot in the face when they learned that her autographs were priced at $200. Ah hah hah hah. Who exactly is this Carrie Fisher person, and what has she done to warrant this kind of extortion?
Several hugs later, we went our separate ways, after which I spotted Monti, who was working (read: knitting) at the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers booth on both Saturday and Sunday. As she wasn’t extremely busy, she decided to wander the con with me and take in the wildlife, but just as we were about to leave, Sonja and Sue appeared again! Cue more hugs! Sonja had laughingly told me that after our first meeting, someone had asked her ‘was… was that Davecat you were talking to?’ Ha! Monti half-jokingly suggested that I get a table of my own next year. Hmm…

Soon after, Monti and I made our way to the Media Guests area, where, seated at a corner table facing the cafeteria, was Julie Newmar. She had a Comic Con staffer with her, and was speaking with some bloke in his late forties. Julie Newmar.
Now, as the ‘My living Doll’ DVD box set doesn’t yet exist, weeks ago I attempted to find something related to the series on eBay for her to sign. Unfortunately, the only thing on offer was a baseball card-sized card, that the seller was letting go for about $20. Zip Gun hepped me to a place online that sold reasonably priced 8×10 publicity stills, so I bought one and waited for it to arrive. And waited. And waited. Needless to say, it didn’t show up, so before I left for the con that day, I brought a blank notebook for her to sign, as I figured it was better than nothing.
I approached the table with a ‘Hello, Ms Newmar!’ She responded with a coquettish ‘Hello, my dear,’ which is pretty much what you’d expect her to say. As the bloke had her pen her signature to a Catwoman still, I’d noticed a sign indicating AUTOGRAPHS $20 / PHOTO SESSIONS $30, and I’d thankfully noticed a still from ‘My living Doll’ was on offer, as the photo I’d purchased online was Julie clad in a towel. A moot point anyway, as I didn’t have it with me. The fan thanked her and made his leave, and I moved in for the kill. I told Ms Newmar that I really enjoyed her work, particularly in ‘My living Doll’, which she seemed to appreciate. She reiterated what I’ve been hearing all over: they’re still trying to locate the masters for the rest of the series, so they can clean them up and release them to DVD. She still doesn’t look too bad for her age, I have to say! Plus, she seems fun to hang around. Be sure to let me know when you’re in SE Michigan again, Julie; we’ll hook up!


‘to Davecat, fondly, Julie Newmar’

After thanking her profusely, I met back up with Monti with a huge grin plastered across my face. Julie Newmar.
We walked some more through the Media Guests area, flanked by a passel of celebs on either side — the Soup Nazi from ‘Seinfeld’, Erin Gray from ‘Buck Rogers’, Felix Silla from ‘Buck Rogers’, a couple of Playmates from ‘Playboy’, the Honky Tonk Man from ‘wrestling’, etc. It was a bizarre confluence of celebrities, if you stop to think about it.
Back in the dealer’s area, we nipped into a booth that sold manga, where I grabbed those volumes of Monster that I needed, with the exception of the volume before the final one, as it was out-of-stock. DAMNIT *slams fist on table*

As it was approaching 5pm, we made one more pass through the Media Guests DMZ, so I could collect my signatures from (part of) the cast of ‘Three’s company’. Seated from left to right at three separate tables were Richard Kline, Joyce DeWitt, and Priscilla Barnes. Coincidentally enough, the Soup Nazi was to the right of Richard Kline, which was an opportunity missed.
As Janet always was my favourite roommate, we went to Joyce’s table first. She greeted us warmly, and y’know, she looks almost exactly how she looked during her heyday. And they might’ve saddled her with a low chair, as she seemed pretty tiny! It’s common knowledge that television adds three and a half feet to a person’s height. I told her that she was one of the primary reasons that I came to the convention, since her public appearances post-‘Three’s company’ are rare, and she mentioned that Priscilla drags her out to cons every so often, as she’d been doing the hermit thing lately. ‘Nothing wrong with that!’ I replied. Joyce chose to sign my book in pen, as opposed to using the Sharpie I offered, so the ink wouldn’t leak through to the other side. Janet always was the practical one.
Next, we sidled over to Richard Kline. As he was speaking with another fan, I’d noticed he was idly drumming a fistful of Sharpies against the tabletop. He seemed a bit tired and/or distracted, to be honest. I’d passed him my Sharpie, and as he was taking that and my book, he’d asked if Joyce had charged for an autograph. ‘Err… no,’ we responded, thinking he was joking. Richard scribbled his signature and handed my book back, saying, ‘There ya go — there’s your freebie’. The actual payment: one Sharpie. I wisely decided against pressing the issue.
Right before I got round to Priscilla Barnes’ table, Monti said she’d be back, as she wanted to get her own photo op in with John Schneider of ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ fame. Now, she actually had a con staffer with her, collecting money for autographs, which is something that neither Joyce nor Richard had, so, cheap as it sounds, I kinda lucked out there. As it turned out, I ended up spending my last $20 getting Ms Barnes’ autograph, but as I’d said before, how many opportunities like that come in one’s life? She looked chilly — she had her cardigan wrapped round her shoulders, and actually refused a handshake, as she didn’t want to give me her cold. Well, she did play a nurse, after all… I told her that I’d always enjoyed watching ‘Three’s company’, despite my friends thinking I have awful taste, as I’d grown up with the show, and it was the equivalent of comfort food. ‘That’s an interesting way of looking at it,’ she remarked.


Door status: KNOCKED UPON

So after my own brush(es) with stardom, I reconvened with Monti, who had had her own brush with stardom, in the form of Bo Duke (read more about it here). We agreed that it was a pretty good day overall, and I left her with her GLAHW compadres. Brushes! Stardom!
Will I attend the next Motor City Comic Con? I dunno; who’ve you got showing up?

10 have spoken to “Larry Dallas stole my Sharpie”

  1. Jaems writes:

    I didn’t know about the Newmar autograph. I’m super jealous, DC. I can only imagine what sort of interesting things you have stored in the vault. We’ll have to go through it when I visit.

  2. Kat writes:

    Lucky lucky to have met Julie Newmar. *Puurrrrrr*

  3. lunachase writes:

    “Door Status: KNOCKED UPON”.

    I lol’d.

  4. Davecat writes:

    Jaems –
    Ahh, the Deafening silence vault. You’re familiar with the final scene in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, where they store the Ark in that warehouse? That’s roughly the size of the lobby to the Deafening silence vault.
    Most of the actual vault exists in the sixth dimension: partly due to space constraints, partly for tax purposes. It’s quite a vault!

    Kat –
    She was a fine individual, from what scant interaction I had with her! Had I an extra tenner on me, I would’ve had my picture taken with her…

    lunachase –
    If you think about it, no-one habitually knocked on any doors in that show, at least front doors. People were always barging in, especially Larry, the Sharpie Thief.
    ♫ Come and barge through our door (come and barge through our door)

  5. MontiLee writes:

    As an FYI – Carrie Fisher’s autographs were going for $40.00, not $200.00.

    I would imagine that some bitter C-lister started that rumor, and grinned with bitter glee as sessions wouldn’t sell.

  6. Davecat writes:

    Perhaps it was started by the Soup Nazi. You can’t rule that possibility out, y’know.

  7. DarthSatanus writes:

    I loved Three’s Company growing up. I still catch the re-runs every now and then on TV Land. Maybe Richard Kline is a pen klepto. I used to do that. I once had a whole purse full of pens. I made myself somehow get over it.

    It’s cool that you got to go and meet them. I bet it was great meeting Julie! I’m envious!!

  8. PBShelley writes:

    Wow, so you finally met Julie Newmar! Scratch one more item off the Bucket List, eh? (BTW, wouldn’t *that* make an interesting Blog post?) Congratulations are in order, as you’ve been wistfully wishing that for years now!

    Regarding Monti’s reply and your reply to her reply… did Richard Kline seem to be grinning with bitter glee? I’m just asking. And using “bitter” and “glee” in the same sentence with The Soup Nazi is just… well. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

    On the other hand, I have a nagging feeling that Richard may have been hoping to recoup some of his missed (alleged) signing fees with the resale of all those Sharpies…

    Regards,
    PBS, Lily, Eden, & Pennie (who has a thing for Catwomen… well, one anyway)

  9. Davecat writes:

    DarthSatanus –
    Three’s company is a fine show, a fine show! I watched it more in syndication (on our local station WKBD channel 50, which is named something else now, due to the Local Channel Acquisition Wars) than when it was in its pre-syndication years on ABC. For years, I would associate 7.30pm Mon – Fri with that show, as that’s when it would air, and that memory was inextricably linked with when I was younger, and summer evenings when it was just starting to grow dark outside. I’d be indoors after riding my bike round the neighbourhood with my friends, and sit down to Felipe endlessly wiping his shoes on the welcome mat, or Dean Travers bellowing ‘I don’t want a Tripper tripping in my kitchen!!’, or Janet flouncing around the apartment in that nightshirt. Good times.

    And although I’m a rabid fan of British television, I have not yet seen a single episode of ‘Man about the House’, the show ‘Three’s company’ was based on. Although I have the feature film (don’t ask)…

    PBS and lasses and kitty –
    Meeting Ms Newmar was awesome! Although I was admittedly nervous, so I’m sure I could’ve come up with better things to say than ‘I liked your work in “My living Doll”‘. Technically, I’m surprised she didn’t ask how I’d managed to see any episodes, as the show was cancelled decades before I was born! That would’ve been like when I saw Silver apples play for their reunion tour in the late Nineties, and I had Simeon autograph my copy of their Cd. Which he did do, commenting, ‘A bootleg, huh?’; a fact of which I was unaware. Awkward.
    But meeting Julie was abbreviated, but fine and dandy! Incidentally, that pic I’d ordered of her from that online place showed up last week. *shaking head*

    And R.Kline seemed… what’s the word… jaded? disillusioned? I’m sure that could be used to accurately describe more than half the celebrity guests at MCCC. For one, it’s not like it’s being held in a big city like Chicago, or New York, or anywhere on the west coast, so the attendance isn’t gonna be as huge. Another, it’s a bit of a non sequitur, as he, nor Joyce DeWitt, or the Soup Nazi, have anything to do with scifi or horror, so you kinda get the impression that for some, it’s a paying gig, but not a really good, well-paying gig. They’re doing it for people like me! Or something.
    Or maybe Richard’s got a black market black marker system going in secret; you never can tell.

  10. Laura writes:

    Carrie Fisher?!?!?!
    *puts head in hands and cries*

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